Management

Nalini Ghag-Motwani, Ph.D.

President & Founding Chief Scientist

Dr. Motwani has over 25 years of experience in research and management in the field of biotechnology including recombinant protein production.

Dr. Motwani is an inventor of five issued patents on yeast expression system for recombinant proteins. Prior to founding BioSavita, Dr. Motwani was one of the founding scientist of Strohtech/Apex Bioscience, which was involved in the development of a cost-effective yeast expression system to produce genetically engineered hemoglobins. Dr. Motwani negotiated an arrangement with Apex to start BioSavita. She has been successful in securing NIH-SBIR and state grants, private funds, and licenses for BioSavita. Under her leadership, the BioSavita scientific team developed a proprietary twin cassette expression system for cost-effective production of recombinant proteins including heterodimer of cytokines and monoclonal antibodies in yeast. She was a licensing consultant for the technology transfer office at the University of Michigan and a visiting scientist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Dr. Motwani is adjunct associate professor at the Oakland University, MI. She received her Masters degree from Haffkine Institute in Bombay and her Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Michigan.

 

Rai Ajit Srivastava, Ph.D., FAHA, MBA,

Executive Vice-President, Technology & Business Development

Dr. Srivastava is an experienced leader in research and drug discovery & development for the past three decades in multiple therapeutic areas and advancing several NCEs and biologics through preclinical testing. Served in leadership positions at Tularik Pharma (now Amgen) as head of preclinical pharmacology, Bristol-Myers Squibb as Sr. Principal Scientist, Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR) as Executive Director, and Piramal Life Sciences (India) as Executive Vice President. He has led teams to carry out preclinical discovery, pharmacology POC and MOA, PK/PD, exploratory toxicology and biomarker (efficacy and safety) studies in rodents and non-human primates. As a leader directing the discovery efforts in industries, Dr. Srivastava has helped submission of several investigational new drug applications, coordinated several project teams across functional areas, and managed collaborative studies with academic institutions and CROs. He led joint drug discovery efforts with Merck and Eli Lilly. Prior to joining the industry Dr. Srivastava served for 10 years on the faculty of the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Dr. Srivastava has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and a diploma in MBA from India. He has published 75 peer reviewed research papers, 4 book chapters, and more than 80 presentations in international conferences and symposia. He is an adjunct Professor at the Dept. of Physiology & Pharmacology, Drexel University School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

 

Jerry Choate, BA

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Choate has more than 20 years of experience in corporate finance as a business founder, investment banker, business development director, and strategic advisor for various public and private healthcare, life sciences, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies. He also serves as founder and Managing Partner of Think Capital Advisors, a privately held specialty, global advisory firm that combines growth strategy, corporate finance for life sciences, healthcare, and technology sectors to drive shareholder value.

During his tenure, Think Capital Advisors successfully assisted early stage companies to profitability and participated in over $1 billion of corporate finance advisory. Mr. Choate has also served as Managing Director at MidSouth Capital, a boutique investment banking group. One of his clients at MidSouth was eventually sold to GE Healthcare for $587 million. Mr. Choate has further served as Managing Director at Moody Capital, a boutique investment banking group focusing on venture financing and public financing in the life sciences and healthcare market. He has been Vice President at TSG Partners, a global life sciences advisory firm. He graduated from the University of South Carolina’s Business School and completed a global business program at the Economics University of Vienna, Austria.

 

Savita Nikam, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Dr. Nikam has more than 18 years of extensive research experience in academia and with biotechnology companies. Her expertise includes molecular biology, protein biochemistry and expression of products from mammalian, yeast and bacterial expression systems. Dr. Nikam gained extensive experience at Molecular Imaging Research (Charles River Company) in manipulating different cancer cell lines and generating reporter models for in vivo imaging of apoptosis following new cancer drug treatment. Her Ph.D. research included development of a potent viral vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis from primary chick embryo cell cultures. Dr. Nikam received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from National Institute of Virology, Pune University, India. She completed her postdoctoral research on mechanism of HIV reverse transcriptase fidelity and the kinetic basis of drug resistance at the University of Michigan.